Locals reach out to victims of Katrina

Xanterra to help some evacuees with jobs, homes

Hurricane Katrina may have made landfall more than 1,500 miles away, but the plight of its victims has mobilized people locally.

The Grand Canyon Girl Scouts are collecting donations of cash and personal and household items for a number of hurricane victims expected to come to work for Xanterra in the coming weeks.

According to Xanterra Human Resources Director Kathleen Bankston, the company is working with the state's job services representative and expects to begin interviewing evacuees being housed in Phoenix this week.

"We are eager to assist," she said. "We have jobs and housing. They need both so it's a natural win-win."

For more information on donating to the Girl Scouts, contact Andi Dawkins at 638-1179.

The High School Student Council is soliciting area businesses for contributions and putting out containers to collect donations at the school. They have also pledged $250 from Student Council funds and will match up to another $500 in outside donations. So far they have raised $550, not including their pledge.

"What we really want to do is raise awareness," said Student Council President Matthew Beckerleg. "We don't want to raise all of the money ourselves. We just want to make sure the community helps out."

Donations will go to the Red Cross Hurricane Katrina Fund. Businesses that want to help but haven't been contacted may call Beckerleg at 928-606-5276.

The Middle School Student Council will be holding a coin drive in the middle and elementary school. Council advisor Lori Rommel said that effort will begin next week after this year's officers are elected.

Grand Canyon Baptist Church Pastor Rick Wiles is also in Louisiana with his son, helping with relief efforts. He is due to return by the end of this month.

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